ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) has announced that all unregistered mobile phones across the country will be blocked after October 20.
PTA had launched Device Identification, Registration and Blocking System (DIRBS) on May 10 this year, aimed to combat the use of smuggled or counterfeit sets which either serve to reduce tax revenues for the state or pose health problems to unsuspecting consumers.
The DIRBS will now become functional on Oct 20.
“We recommend that consumers buy only PTA-approved phone sets after Oct 20,” According to PTA’s director general for services, Talib Dogar.
The technology will help the authorities counter the issue of counterfeit devices that adversely affects the government, mobile phone operators, distributors and consumers, he added.
These are the devices that are not registered with the Global System for Mobile Association (GSMA) and may be mass-produced by manufactures who do not comply with international standards of production, resulting in the proliferation of counterfeit, possibly hazardous, mobile phones.
According to PTA, nearly 160 million compliant and non-complaint mobile devices, active on all the networks, had been legalised before the launch of DIRBS. All these devices would not face any service interruption as they would not be blocked by DIRBS.
“However a consumer, who inserts a SIM card other than the one (s)he was using before Oct 20 in a non-compliant mobile device after the amnesty period, will be required to register the phone’s IMEI with PTA within two weeks to be able to continue using the handset,” Mr Dogar said.
How to check if your mobile phone is not registered
A cellphone user should text the International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) number printed on the box of a new handset to 8484. The automated reply will confirm whether your cellphone is registered with PTA or not.
But, according to PTA, the consumer should pay for the handset only after he/she receives reply that the set is compliant with the regulatory standards.